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Gaggia Classic Pump Stalling During Extraction
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JamesR
Senior Member


Joined: 16 Jan 2014
Posts: 44
Location: Dublin, Ireland
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Thu Jan 16, 2014, 7:05am
Subject: Gaggia Classic Pump Stalling During Extraction
 

I picked up a well loved second hand one about six months ago and have had very little issues apart from it not pumping a couple of times when left on for a little longer than necessary to heat up. Perhaps I should have acted faster on this issue as now when I try pull a shot everything looks good, get the nice beading on the basket but then nothing but slow drips. When I remove the portafilter and try run some water through the group I get drips and some steam bubbling to then nothing coming out. Leaving it for a few minutes sometimes allows some water to come through but other times nothing. The steam wand works fine.

After a couple more shots pulled today the issue is still happening with coffee that I was using at the same grind setting / dose last week with no problems.

Any idea on what could be wrong? Solenoid valve needs taking out and cleaning? Thermostat issue?

:-/
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JamesR
Senior Member


Joined: 16 Jan 2014
Posts: 44
Location: Dublin, Ireland
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Thu Jan 16, 2014, 1:42pm
Subject: Re: Gaggia Classic Pump Stalling During Extraction
 

Any help from anyone please?
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calblacksmith
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calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,672
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
Grinder: Azkoyen Capriccio, Major
Vac Pot: 40s era Silex
Drip: Msl. Com. brewers
Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Thu Jan 16, 2014, 1:51pm
Subject: Re: Gaggia Classic Pump Stalling During Extraction
 

Hi, relax, this is a BBS, not a chat room, sometimes it takes awhile for someone to reply.

Most likely the pump is going or has gone bad. Not a huge thing and it happens to vibe pumps much more often than rotary pumps.

 
In real life, my name is
Wayne P.
Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
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JamesR
Senior Member


Joined: 16 Jan 2014
Posts: 44
Location: Dublin, Ireland
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Thu Jan 16, 2014, 2:05pm
Subject: Re: Gaggia Classic Pump Stalling During Extraction
 

Thanks for the reply and sorry for the impatience, I'm worried about my espresso consumption potentially being put on hold for a while.

Would you recommend I order a replacement now or are there any other checks that I could perform to fully verify it is indeed a faulty pump?
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D4F
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Joined: 15 Mar 2012
Posts: 1,981
Location: USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic PID
Grinder: Baratza Forte-AP
Posted Thu Jan 16, 2014, 2:32pm
Subject: Re: Gaggia Classic Pump Stalling During Extraction
 

I am not sure from your description that it is the pump, but likely.  How does the pump run by sound?  Remove the tank and put a glass of water for the pump pickup and an empty glass for OPV return and then turn on the pump.  When it "stalls" does it produce much water from OPV return?  If there is a good return, quantify for 30 seconds and post result.  What about scale/descale and maintenance?  When you are stalled and turn off the brew, what happens at the down tube from the 3 way?  If you eliminate  OPV, 3 way, and scale fouling the output then you are left with the pump.

 
D4F also at
http://www.gaggiausersgroup.com/
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SStones
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SStones
Joined: 24 Nov 2012
Posts: 474
Location: Canada
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Giga 5, ECM Giotto, Rocket...
Grinder: Anfim Milano-Best
Vac Pot: No  :(
Drip: Some $30 thing from Walmart
Roaster: I buy pre-roasted.
Posted Fri Jan 17, 2014, 5:27am
Subject: Re: Gaggia Classic Pump Stalling During Extraction
 

Replace the pump.  Even if you're not 100% certain yet that the pump is the problem, replacing a 7 year old pump isn't a waste of money.  By "Stalling" we're assuming that the pump is stalling, reducing to a quiet hum and producing no flow of water.  If you have a way of gauging the pump pressure, it's nice to be certain that it's stalling at less than 10 Bar so that you know the pump is completely dead when replacing it, but without the gauge, you can hear/see the quality and flow of coffee.
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JamesR
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Joined: 16 Jan 2014
Posts: 44
Location: Dublin, Ireland
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Fri Jan 17, 2014, 6:03am
Subject: Re: Gaggia Classic Pump Stalling During Extraction
 

Thanks for the detailed reply D4F,

I'm not entirely sure it is the pump but I've followed your instructions: I placed a glass of water under the intake tube, an empty jug for the OPV and left the drip tray in place. Turned the pump on and it pumped a full drip tray of water from the grouphead without any issues. OPV jug empty.

Would this suggest that it's a coffee or perhaps a temperature issue?

The water here is nice and soft and I filter all water before it goes into the machine. I always run some water through the grouphead before and after each shot plus I'll give it a wipe with a microfibre cloth to make sure it's clean. I backflush with cafiza once a month and descale once every three months. I did descale last week with some citric acid but I'm pretty sure this was after I started to experience problems.

Lately after the extraction hangs (fails to push more than 10/15g of espresso out), I'll turn off the pump which causes the down tube to spurt out some coffee.

The reason I'm ruling out coffee is that it's never choked on the same coffee, dose and grind setting before. Yesterday I let it rest after it hung and prepared another shot of much smaller dose and at a coarser grind - it gushed through.

Thanks again for all the help fellow Coffeegeeks :-D
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JamesR
Senior Member


Joined: 16 Jan 2014
Posts: 44
Location: Dublin, Ireland
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Fri Jan 17, 2014, 6:07am
Subject: Re: Gaggia Classic Pump Stalling During Extraction
 

SStones Said:

Replace the pump.  Even if you're not 100% certain yet that the pump is the problem, replacing a 7 year old pump isn't a waste of money.  By "Stalling" we're assuming that the pump is stalling, reducing to a quiet hum and producing no flow of water.  If you have a way of gauging the pump pressure, it's nice to be certain that it's stalling at less than 10 Bar so that you know the pump is completely dead when replacing it, but without the gauge, you can hear/see the quality and flow of coffee.

Posted January 17, 2014 link

That's a fair point SStones. Could I merely be choking the machine with coffee then removing the portafilter and it remains choked and only splutters out bubbles and drips followed by no water? Probably unlikely, I'm coming round to the pump needing to be replaced.
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,672
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
Grinder: Azkoyen Capriccio, Major
Vac Pot: 40s era Silex
Drip: Msl. Com. brewers
Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Fri Jan 17, 2014, 6:34am
Subject: Re: Gaggia Classic Pump Stalling During Extraction
 

JamesR Said:

That's a fair point SStones. Could I merely be choking the machine with coffee then removing the portafilter and it remains choked and only splutters out bubbles and drips followed by no water? Probably unlikely, I'm coming round to the pump needing to be replaced.

Posted January 17, 2014 link

Extremely unlikely, there is nothing in the system that "holds" pressure no more than putting your thumb over the end of a garden hose and then taking it off, if the water does not come out of the hose, there are other problems than your thumb over the end. No it is not a temp problem, Hot, cold or someplace in between the pump is a different issue than the temp.

 
In real life, my name is
Wayne P.
Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
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JamesR
Senior Member


Joined: 16 Jan 2014
Posts: 44
Location: Dublin, Ireland
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Fri Jan 17, 2014, 6:38am
Subject: Re: Gaggia Classic Pump Stalling During Extraction
 

calblacksmith Said:

Extremely unlikely, there is nothing in the system that "holds" pressure no more than putting your thumb over the end of a garden hose and then taking it off, if the water does not come out of the hose, there are other problems than your thumb over the end. No it is not a temp problem, Hot, cold or someplace in between the pump is a different issue than the temp.

Posted January 17, 2014 link

Thanks for that info calblacksmith, I wasn't aware it was that straightforward.

Any recommendations on where to pick up a pump in UK or Europe?
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